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Open mike 09/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 9th, 2012 - 48 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

48 comments on “Open mike 09/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    “The best is yet to come”

    Barack Hussein Obama Victory Speech Tuesday 11/6/12

    Hardly ever has any president made such a grand eloquent promise, at the start of any inauguration.

    Significant words. That if made lightly will come to haunt this President’s final administration like an albatross around it’s neck.

    But if fullfilled will elevate Obama into the ranks of one of the greats.

    In his victory speech Obama also talked, (09:32 – 10:15), of an America “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet”.

    This must mean that he has in mind a concrete course of action to remove that threat.

    When someone says, ‘the best is yet to come’, it usually means that they have a plan and a course of action in mind.

    Hopefully we will know what shape that plan will take within the coming ‘First Hundred Days’ of this renewed administration, when newly elected presidents traditionally release their new policy initiatives.

    Let us hope that Obama will release his plan to achieve his promise made to the American people; “That the best is yet to come” within the coming days.

    After all the crunch is rapidly approaching.

    That crunch is the approaching January deadline agreed to by the previous Bush administration to abolish the “deficit trigger”, a promise to undo the more than $500 billion in automatic tax increases for the wealthy that are due to automatically click in to place in January to prevent a deficit in government accounts. ie the money necessary to pay for social programs like environmental protection, healthcare, pensions, veterans benefits, etc. The two deadlines, the approaching deficit and the approaching promise to cancel the automatic tax increases on the rich, are in imminent collision. One or the other has to give.

    If it is the former that has to give way, this will be huge slap in the face for Obama supporters.

    An earlier attempted bipartisan approach by Obama to congress asking them to vote for $1 of every $2.50 in tax cuts instead, was roundly rejected by the Republican dominated congress who demanded the full tax rebate for their backers.

    Due to the intransigence of the Republicans – to break the deadlock, the President may have to use emergency executive powers to over rule them.

    No doubt he will receive a severe right wing backlash for doing so.

    An indication of which way Obama may go was given in an Obama election pamphlet entitled, “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security.” which promised that a second Obama administration would hire more teachers, promote manufacturing and raise taxes on the wealthy as “The New Economic Patriotism”

    If a country that can spend tens of $billions on war, or to bail out Wall Street bankers and financiers, decided to spend similar amounts on the necessary technologies to address climate change the effects could be immense. Not only would it address the climate it would be a huge stimulus to the real economy of manufacturing and jobs. Effectively killing two birds with one stone.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOL7wzEIZSc

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      If a country that can spend tens of $billions on war, or to bail out Wall Street bankers and financiers,

      well…when Iraq and Afghanistan wars were at top volume, billions were being spent a week…

    • Jenny 1.2

      The fight heats up.

      Will the Democrats cave under the pressure?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/7924297/Closing-the-gap-before-the-cliff

      Equity traders threaten the Whitehouse:

      What I am afraid of it is going to take a dive, a disruptive dive by equity prices in order to prompt Washington into, into coming up with a solution that is acceptable both politically and economically.

      John Lansky</b of Moodies Capital Markets

      The Republican dominated Congress declares class war:

      In a garbled and rather vague address, a strained looking John Bainer, the Republican House leader, attacked any tax hikes on the rich saying it would be better to "grow the economy". (Though he doesn't say how this should be done).

      That theory, known as trickle-down economics and dating to the era of President Ronald Reagan, holds that cutting taxes will vastly increase the size of the and profit pie, thereby producing more revenue even at lower tax rates.income

      AP reporter Stephen Hurst clarifies John Bainer’s argument.

      And though the Democrats dominate in the Senate, The Republican Senators announce that they will be as obstructive as possible:

      As the Leader of the Senate minority, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell signalled a readiness at continued obstruction if the Democrats and the president don’t capitulate.

      AP reporter Stephen Hurst

      Despite these determined rear guard attacks from the Republicans and the financiers of Wall Street. So far, the Democrats still seem to be holding their ground:

      “There was a message sent to us by the American people based on the campaign. And that is, people making all this money have to contribute a little bit more.

      And all the exit polling, all the polling we’ve done, the vast majority of the American people support that, including rich people.

      Harry Reid Democrat Senate Majority Leader

      In the face of those challenges, Obama had told Americans on Election Day that he had never been more optimistic.

      ‘‘The best is yet to come,’’ he said at his victory rally in Chicago, ticking off his legislative goals of reforming the tax system, working to ease climate change and overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

      Mitt Romney who led a campaign based on division and winner take all arrogance. In an act of cynical hypocrisy, is now calling on the Democrats to work with the Republicans to cut social spending:

      ‘‘At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering,’’ Romney said, after a campaign filled with it.

      ‘‘Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.’’

      You just know that Romney, this multi billionaire financier would not be this magnanimous in victory.

  2. Red Rosa 2

    Canterbury still looking like Fiji

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7926305/Axing-election-abuse-of-human-rights-watchdog

    But until the Central Plains and Hurunui irrigation schemes, and the extra Waitaki water take, are rammed through, don’t expect any change.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

    • vto 2.1

      .
      David Carter refused to comment.

      Arsehole. He should take his family money and shove it up his arse. Unwelcome.

      • Ianmc 2.2.1

        Yesterday at the Select Committee Environment and Local Body Meeting, the chief man at the Human Rights Mr Rutherford gave a burst that the stripping of democratic Rights was an affront to all that wars ghad been fought to preserve. Nick Smith got very angry and defensive. Wonder why. All NZ should be called to arms to condemn this antidemocratic travesty of ECan.

        • vto 2.2.1.1

          Yes I caught that.

          Nick Smith needs to wake up and open his beady eyes.

          Same with David Carter. I am sure both of them would never in their wildest dreams (……) imagine they have acted in the exact same manner as the third world tin-pot dictators that we all spit on.

          pitoooey

    • millsy 2.3

      Irrigation schemes should be publicly owned IMO, and metered, with revenue/profit going straight into cleaning up our rivers.

      That’s what happens in the USA, and to a lesser extent, Australia.

      We seem to let the private sector run the irrigation schemes, and pocket the profits and the water.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Jenny – While I go along with most of what you say, I think I ought to caution against Utopian thinking concerning the United States of America (in which I have lived, worked and studied over many years). A President, of course, has nothing like the unlimited power and influence many people think he possesses. We have heard all Obama’s skilled oratory (rhetoric, even hyperbole) before. The country ended up with more murderous drones than ever, posing threats to world peace and harmony also as ever (e.g. by imperialism – in the Pacific?) On the other hand, America is a generous country that treats foreigners rather well, a country of astounding extremes (for better and for worse).

    In American politics you do not have much choice, for all the overwhelming cost of elections. There is not effective Left, the choice is between a Party leaning well towards the Right and another Party also leaning to the Right, but considerably less so (demonstrating compassion through policies that are not discriminatory). Times might be tough at present, but still materialism and marked patriotism are firmly in place throughout America.

    “The best is yet to come”, proclaims Obama. Does this imply furtherance of the rather self-indulgent “American Dream”? Are these words comparable to another political leader who promised his country “a brighter future”? (Suddenly up to 7.3% unemployment, which thus far is receiving some remarkably mild reactions, a few even hinting that it is not too bad news, and that we are doing better, after all, than some other countries (which makes it alright!) “The best is yet to come” – we will have to wait a bit for Obama to unpack that prediction.

    • marsman 3.1

      Dr Terry. Mitt Romney also promised ‘a brighter future’ but the American public wisely rejected him. Unfortunately our very own Mitt is having a ball destroying our country.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      The country ended up with more murderous drones than ever, posing threats to world peace and harmony also as ever (e.g. by imperialism – in the Pacific?)

      Exactly my worry about Obama… :(

  4. marsman 4

    Yet another truck has crashed.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7927518/Molasses-tanker-crashes

    That makes three truck crashes in two days. Should there be an investigation into the trucking industry?

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Another driver probably half-asleep in the early hours of the morning.

      This was predicted. Nats blocked any action as usual. Workers are disposable.

      http://www.dogandlemon.com/articles/sleep-death

      http://www.labour.org.nz/portfolios/transport-safety?page=2

    • Bill 4.2

      Remember the TV3 newspiece not so long ago (18 months back?) that scoffed at and ridiculed the idea of maximum driving hours for truckies ? The story focussed on a company dealing in agricultural product that was getting slapped with a wet bus ticket for basically ignoring the regulation. Much hilarity from drivers and an apparent inability on the part of the reporters to grasp the seriousness of the matter.

    • millsy 4.3

      Doesnt help that our railway system is being run down slowly.

      Being wise enough to realise that selling it as a going concern is a no go, they are going to break it up and flog it off bit by bit by bit.

  5. Bill 5

    How the fuck does the British PM ( as headlined in both the guardian and the independent) figure that the current focus on paedophilia (healthy or unhealthy as it might be) in the UK is a ‘gay with-hunt’??? He’s just given the green light for people to view gays as potential paedophiles, no? And meanwhile, the so-called liberal press of the UK has underscored and endorsed the prejudice by giving the tosh uncritical headline prominance. Fucking unbelievable.

    • rosy 5.1

      That, Bill, was exactly what I thought. The media and public were focusing on paedophiles – not sexual preference between consenting adults. Cameron just switched the emphasis to gay men to get himself out of a bind.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      At the risk of being all contrarian, I thought Cameron handled the ambush pretty well. The UK has a history of conflating gay with paedophilia and at least one newspaper a few years ago printed the names and addresses of people innacurately accused of crimes against kids on that basis*. Innocent people were assaulted as a result. I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as kiddy fiddlers are indeed gay, so Cameron will have been answering in that context.
       
      * can’t recall the paper, but I think it was Rebekah Brooks who ran the name and shame campaign. Again, without bothering to search, I recall that a podiatrist was also attacked, because the word sounds like paedophile.

      edit: News of the World et al, circa 2000

      • rosy 5.2.1

        Yes, it was Rebekah Brooks and yes, paedohilia and paediatrician were confused because of the hype.

        Yes, Cameron was ambushed, but he handled it badly imo – he should have just said internet speculation is just speculation. He aimed to deflect rather than quash speculation.

        And yes “I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as kiddy fiddlers are indeed gay” might be true, but just as true (numerically more so) is – I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as sexually abusing children* are indeed straight (including the one this all started with – Jimmy Savile).

        * kiddy fiddlers although a common term sounds like a game to me.

      • Bill 5.2.2

        Thanks for the vid lnk. Yes. Cameron was robust. But why say (paraphrasing) ‘particularily gay people’? Is that his own prejudice? And why oh why oh why do the broadsheets give prominence (and therefor a degree of legitimacy) to that claim or concern in a way that can only reinforce existing prejudice?

        Wouldn’t it have been healthier to have questioned that bit of Cameron’s response and laid the prejudice bare for the tosh that it is? Further, shouldn’t it be expected from so-called intelligent jouornalistic outputs?

        edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.2.1

          edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.
           
          Not mutually exclusive, Bill!
           
          It’s likely that Cameron knows the names and equally likely, given his response, that some may be gay. I got the impression that Cameron was trying to do the decent thing in that interview, which is a fluffy breakfast show, not, say, Hardtalk. Can you imagine Key defending gays against unwarranted attack? No, me neither. If it was me in his place, I would have been tempted to point out to Philip Schofield that as a former TV children’s entertainer in the 80’s and nineties, there might be people speculating about his tendencies, too. But, then, I’m a bit of a bastard!

          • Bill 5.2.2.1.1

            I didn’t say the two are mutually exclusive. But the list focussed on political allegience/office – or public figures/profiles – not sexual orientation. So he could/should have defended politicians. Or specifically Tory politicians – or whatever. But his mention of gays was in no way defending them (they weren’t being questioned or attacked or focussed on up until that point). And what his pronouncement has done is to place them in the crosshairs. It’s fucked up.

          • Vicky32 5.2.2.1.2

            edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.

            What I have heard on the radio this morning, is, that heads have rolled – that is, the allegation against a Tory MP was false, and so the editor of Newsnight has fallen on his sword.
            Interesting!

        • Uturn 5.2.2.2

          On the upside, you and me know why and how to tell the difference and we aren’t the only people of our type in the world. If our collective perspective prefers an over-reliance on numbers, statistics and generalisation, to turn a specific sample of “some homosexuals abused children” and conflate it to become “most child abusers are homosexuals” then we can use the same method to say:

          “Our current political rhetoric utilises generalisations to create the fear of opposite” and then “Politicians are manipulative and untrustworthy”.

          In our everyday life though, it’s up to us to know our responsibility to face the individual circumstance before us, not the prejudice in our minds. Otherwise we aren’t thinking and living our lives, we’re remembering what we’ve been told and we might as well be robots or cardboard cut-outs. The person next door, who co-incidentally may be gay, should be extended the same respect and privacy we think we deserve if we’re hetro. They might be thinking, “I’ll just keep an eye on that hetro, I know how unbalanced they get round people like me.”. They might just be living their life, like nosey hetros should learn to do.

          If this was the case, newspapers and the proclamations of the manipulative would become like the distant farts of a far off mud pit, while real people, dealing in real realtionships, got on with their lives.

    • muzza 5.3

      Bill can appreciate what you are sayingm but lets not miss the major point here which is something that I have mentioned previously.

      There are very dark forces at work, and those forces use “the establishment”, and are part of “the establishment” , to abuse, and systematically cover up this type of behaviour.

      This is only the latest example that what is said about those who ‘run the world’ , is backed up by the same response at the Catholic Church.

  6. vto 7

    ha ha ha ha ha ha this has to be the funniest attempt at credibility in a while …….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7927838/Industry-backs-Todd-fracking-report

    • weka 7.1

      “Major players in the oil and gas industry have spoken in support of a report saying the industry will become unprofitable if fracking is banned.”
       
      Well duh. Peak oil is as much about economics as the other. Eventually even with fracking, the industry will become unprofitable. By then we will have ruined the environment even more, just when we need a clean environment the most.

      • PlanetOrphan 7.1.1

        This is from WikiPedia …

        “impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and the health effects of these.[6] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or even banning it”

        Surface contamination = Liquification.

        Anyone care too investigate the connection in Canterbury?

        “A proppant is a material that will keep a induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment”

        “Radioactive tracer isotopes are sometimes included in the hydrofracturing fluid”

  7. millsy 8

    Chris Trotter quite rightly suggests that the Fifth Labour Government is as much to blame for Pike River as anyone else

    From 1999 to 2008 Labour didn’t lift a finger to undo National’s H and S reforms – there was a hell of the lot of other things it never really did as well.

    A lot of people on this blog think that Helen Clark’s government was the best ever, while over at Kiwiblog the rednecks entertain us with a delusional view that this country was like Bolshevik Russia in the 1920’s.

    It wasant really all that left wing.

    If you want a real left wing progressive government in New Zealand — look at Norman Kirk and Bill Rowling’s short lived government, even if Roger Douglas was in cabinet — back then he came up with some pretty progressive stuff (though I guess he was on a shorter leash back then).

    • “From 1999 to 2008 Labour didn’t lift a finger to undo National’s H and S reforms – there was a hell of the lot of other things it never really did as well.”

      Most of the true ‘left’ if you can all it that is voting Green, while the rest remain in Labour trying to get the last of the 80s bunch out of the party. :)

    • PlanetOrphan 8.2

      You can argue historical issues for ever millsy.

      The real issue is the “Real Time” governance of this country and it’s spineless implementation.

      The “Left” would not have been spineless, simple fact.
      Because they have “Ground” too stand on and would’ve pressured Pike River real time about it’s workplace standards and procedures.

      Even when the opposition calls the Gnats’ on it they reply with delusional obfuscated PR spin.

      It’s unbelievable too me that anyone over the age of 10 would think John Key a trustworthy person, and this rest of the Gnats’ are even worse, through subservience and gutlessness they are killing New Zealanders’ with impunity and a smile M8!.

      • karol 8.2.1

        Well, Trotter’s post/article also ends on a hopeful note, looking to the future:
         

        Following the Royal Commission Report’s release, Labour leader, David Shearer, was asked if he thought the deregulatory pendulum had swung too far. Mr Shearer responded by saying that “the government needs to be much more hands on than it has been”.

        It is to be hoped that these words reflect a genuine change of heart on Labour’s part, and that the next time they’re in office, Labour politicians will not hesitate to prevent the private sector’s “drive for production” (and profits) from pushing workers’ rights to effective workplace protection off the agenda.

        Although Trotter’s final sentence is one last kick at Labour for its past record.

        • prism 8.2.1.1

          Perhaps Labour being more hands on would happen if we got some real tradesmen, semi-skilled workers, and mature women with family raising as well as paid workforce experience to those standing for Labour representation. Real hands-on people, not just higher educated, computer finger-clicking geniuses and lawyers good with words and understandings of the analogous nuts and bolts the state uses to keep us under control.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1

            prism.

            A non-university qualified hands-on working labourer like Savage would have no hope of being allowed to lead todays Labour Party. That’s a fact.

  8. Jackal 9

    National guilty of ecocide

    What National obviously fail to understand is that the cost of reducing GHG emissions, which is a required expense to reduce the effects of anthropomorphic climate change, might not be cheap… But the cost of failing to act will be even more expensive…

    • weka 9.1

      John Key, if he thinks about it at all, no doubt imagines that his grandchildren will live in ecodome, gated communities in Hawaii. The plebs can live on the scorched earth.

  9. prism 10

    I noticed that Cameron connected paedophiles with gays. As far as I know heterosexuals can be quite as perverted in that direction as any other sexual persuasion. And incest can occur within apparently ‘normal’ families. And mothers can sometimes be compliant and silent about this because doing something destroys the marriage, family and home and apparent wellbeing and respect in the community etc. So the child, usually daughter, is abandoned to their own sad initiation into sex and twisted adulthood. All very dark and destructive to the human soul and a young person’s sense of self-worth.

    Gays going about their gay lives in a way that follows personal integrity deserve better than being conflated with those perversions of love that lead to incest and other sick obssessions.

  10. karol 11

    THAT interview in the Listener is now available online.  What’s so wrong with a politician being smart, and aware of his media image?  Does John Key not manipulate his media appearances even more than Cunliffe?
     
    After all the bluster by right wingers, and English in parliament, the actual Espiner interview doesn’t live up to that hype.  It looks like a lot of framing by Espiner to make Cunliffe look bad. 
     
    The important issues to me are what political policies, and strategies Cunliffe will pursue.  The inteview highlights the main ones.
     

    Cunliffe believes a new epoch is now upon us and that the left will no longer play second fiddle to the right as it has these past three decades. “The left of politics had to really adapt. You got Clinton’s Democrats. You got Blair’s Third Way, which to some extent had to accommodate and triangulate on triumphal markets and the Washington Consensus, and then the great crash of ’08-’09 happened and I reckon – we reckon – that that changes things again,” he says. “That gives not only the necessity but the freedom for us to ask big questions about do those policy settings, pre-crash, fit our people well for the future? And the answer in many cases is no.”

    Rightly or wrongly, Cunliffe believes that the faction against him in caucus, is unhappy with his desire for change.  And he reckons his opponents have learnt from Garner’s leaks.  We shall see.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      OH FFS

      NZ’s reputation turned to mud

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        That’s generally what happens under Nationals governance.

        ”We are on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes, ” he said.

        That would be like the returning to surplus 2014/15 promise achieved by cutting taxes for the rich.

  11. BROADENING THE DEBATE ABOUT ‘POST-SEPARATION EMPLOYMENT’
    (THE ‘REVOLVING DOOR’)

    The latest from Cronywatch… http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/crony-watch-2/

    This ‘revolving door’ is another form of GRAND CORRUPTION which is endemic in New Zealand.

    There should be a ‘quarantine’ period of 18 months / 2 years from the time politicians and senior staff leave the public service to when they take up employment in the private sector in an area where they could be seen to be using their contacts etc…..

    eg: Former Minister of Justice and Commerce – Simon Power – going straight from Parliament to head the Westpac private bank. In Australia – both at Commonwealth and State Government level – that would be illegal.

    The term is ‘post-separation employment’.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5767710/Simon-Power-to-head-Westpac-Private-Bank

    Simon Power to head Westpac Private Bank
    Last updated 14:20 11/10/2011

    MOVING ON: Justice Minister Simon Power will take over as head of Westpac Private Bank.

    Cabinet minister Simon Power will be taking over as the head of Westpac Private Bank, it was announced today.

    The Rangitikei MP, 41, has been a National MP for 12 years and was tipped as the next party leader until his shock decision to stand down at the November general election.

    Power said he felt he was young enough to have a second career.

    Today, it was announced the commerce and justice minister would head Westpac Private Bank, a subsidiary of Westpac which deals with premium personal customers.
    ……………..
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    NEW SOUTH WALES INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION (ICAC)

    http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/preventing-corruption/knowing-your-risks/post-separation-employment/4301

    Post-separation employment

    Post-separation employment is the situation where a public official leaves the public sector and obtains employment in the private sector. The principle underlying the management of post-separation employment is the need to ensure that public sector decisions are made only on their merits and not compromised by extraneous considerations or personal interests.
    The Department of Premier and Cabinet Personnel Handbook refers to this issue in Section 8-12:

    Employees should not use their position to obtain opportunities for future employment. They should not allow themselves or their work to be influenced by plans for, or offers of, employment outside the department.

    The type of employment which may be cause for concern is that which bears a close or sensitive relationship with the person’s former position as a public official. Examples might be regulators who go to work in an industry they formerly regulated, an adviser or chief executive who resigns from the public service to work in the private sector in the area of his or her former expertise, or a former government minister who obtains work as a political lobbyist.

    The risk of corruption is higher if the post-separation work involves contact with the former department, colleagues, or staff of the former public official. For the most part former public officials have no restrictions imposed on the type of employment they can obtain after they leave the public sector, and many post-separation employment problems only emerge after the public official has left public sector employment.

    Corrupt conduct related to the post-separation employment of a public official can occur either before or after the official leaves public employment.

    Corruption risks

    A risk assessment of the management of post-separation employment is likely to identify some or all of the following corruption risks:

    A current public official using their position to obtain an advantage for their future employment.

    A former public official attempting to influence former colleagues to make decisions that favour their new employment or private business.

    A former public official establishing their own business in the same field as the public agency and approaching the agency’s clients for business, using confidential information gained from the agency.

    A former public official becoming a lobbyist for a private organisation or specialist group and trying to gain confidential information or favourable treatment from former colleagues.

    A current public official stealing information, intellectual property, or other resources to develop their own business and/or to enhance employment prospects with other agencies and organisations.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • kiwicommie 14.1

      There is corruption in New Zealand politics that is pretty much under the radar, but keep in mind that such corruption is not illegal; the Roger Douglas crowd did a lot of things we would consider corrupt but it was not illegal. At the end of the day governments can act with impunity in New Zealand.

      We do not have a solid constitutional document (even the Treaty of Waitangi could be removed if a government was determined enough) nor acts that cannot be easily overturned with a simple majority vote. Truth be told, a politician can do whatever he/she likes so long as he is on side with the government in power and doesn’t do what is termed ‘illegal’.

      Until New Zealand gets an anti-corruption commission and makes conflicts of interests a punishable offense in law for politicians, we can’t do anything about it beyond exposing such in the media; but as it is not illegal, again it would result in no action.

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    Andrew 'Pleb' Mitchell, the gift that keeps on giving:Andrew Mitchell, the former Conservative cabinet minister at the centre of the long-running Plebgate saga, lost his high court libel trial on Thursday in a ruling that leaves him facing an estimated...
    Left hand palm
  • Stuart’s 100 #60: The Humble Zebra
    60: The Humble Zebra What if we had more and safer zebra crossings? And what if it wasn’t so hard to put one in? For a while there, it was seeming that the humble zebra was something of an endangered...
    Transport Blog
  • Five Reasons Why John Key Should Resign
    There are many reasons why the Prime Minister John Key should resign, but here are five:It is unbecoming and unethical for our Head of State to continue to have a personal and ongoing relationship (txt conversations) with a discredited 'shock...
    Local Bodies
  • Hearing the submissions
    I've been watching the webstream of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee's hearings on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Its been interesting viewing. So far, I haven't seen a single submitter who has approved of the process or...
    No Right Turn
  • Kim Dotcom, the far left and Te Tai Tokerau: an autopsy
    ...
    Redline
  • Kim Dotcom, the far left and Te Tai Tokerau: an autopsy
    Kim Dotcom and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira by Philip Ferguson After the September 2014 election, and in particular the loss of the Mana Party’s Te Tai Tokerau seat in parliament, Kim Dotcom apologised to Mana leader Hone Harawira for...
    Redline
  • Friday fun: Overseas beer ads
    It's 3:30 on Friday and astoundingly I'm thinking about beer. Here are some of the best beer ads from Not Here, IMHO. Enjoy. Love the kung fu! "Sharks have a week dedicated to him." Gold. The whole Errol Morris /...
    Polity
  • Johnny and Andy
    Looking ahead a little bit Just a thought we haven’t had much good stuff lately so when very we plainly see Johnny, the shitty little playground bully suddenly shit copiously in his pants and the teachers say hey whooooo fuck...
    Redline
  • Johnny and Andy
    Looking ahead a little bit Just a thought we haven’t had much good stuff lately so when very we plainly see Johnny, the shitty little playground bully suddenly shit copiously in his pants and the teachers say hey whooooo fuck...
    Redline
  • Utter contempt for the OIA
    The OIA is very clear: requests must be answered "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days [of receipt]". While that time limit can be extended, that can only be done if a...
    No Right Turn
  • Success!
    Earlier this year, the government effectively banned legal highs by withdrawing all interim certifications for them. How's that worked out? The front-page of the Manawatu Standard today tells me that "Meth use on rise after legal high ban":Former methamphetamine addicts...
    No Right Turn
  • John Banks isn’t (yet) innocent
    The news that the Court of Appeal has overturned the guilty verdict against John Banks' for knowingly filing a false election return in relation to his failed 2010 Auckland mayoral campaign is not surprising. To understand why, you need to...
    Pundit
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Good ideas that don’t work
    Stinky Jim has been playing a rather engaging cumbia version of New Order's 'Blue Monday' on his 95bFM radio show. Having tracked down the Soundcloud stream, I thought that I would quite like, in my old-fashioned way to, you know, buy...
    Public Address
  • And the Banks saga rolls on…
    It’s just been reported that John Banks has been successful in his appeal, with the Court of Appeal overturning his conviction and ordering a new trial. The appeal hinged on the evidence of two US-based businessmen, David Schaeffer and Jeffery...
    Occasionally erudite
  • Tonga votes
    Tongans went to the polls yesterday in their second election since the 2010 democratic reforms - and threw out most of their Parliament, returning only five of their incumbent People's Representatives (and only one PR Cabinet Minister). Unfortunately this doesn't...
    No Right Turn
  • What if a technology revolution happened and nobody noticed?
    A new NZIER research report, entitled “Disruption on the road ahead! How auto technology will change much more than just our commute to work“, makes the case that new technologies will upend urban transport systems: Near autonomous cars followed by...
    Transport Blog
  • Submission on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Below is my submission on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. Hopefully some of you made your own as well. I oppose the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill and ask that it not be passed. I also oppose the...
    No Right Turn
  • River story winner Bill Kerrison – Saving NZ’s longfin eel
    The Award winning River story for the 2014 New Zealand River awards story is about one man, Bill Kerrison, who has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years trapping and transferring eels and other native fish species past the dams...
    Gareth’s World
  • Little Expecting A Lot
    Great Expectations: Labour's new leader, Andrew Little, is expecting a lot more from his Shadow Cabinet than the standard neoliberal commitment to keeping the books in the black. He will not be judging the worth of Labour’s economic policies by...
    Bowalley Road
  • Prolongation of Life and the Quality of Life.
    A couple of comments to an earlier column asked questions about the quality of life versus the prolongation of life....
    Pundit
  • Saving Peatland With the President
    Today we made history in the protection of Indonesian peatlands. I’ve just got back from a monitoring trip to Sumatra’s devastated peatland forests with Indonesia’s new president Jokowi, where the president witnessed firsthand ongoing peatland and rainforest destruction and took...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Submission on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Submission of the Tertiary Education Union Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on the “Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill” Introduction The Tertiary Education Union Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa (TEU) welcomes this opportunity to respond to the proposed...
    Tertiary Education Union
  • Gordon Campbell on Andrew Little’s debut, Mockingjay, and drunk texting
    John Key’s credibility has taken a hammering this week – at least among the 50% of the electorate who have always had doubts about him on that score. The other substantial story of the week has been about Andrew Little’s...
    Gordon Campbell
  • Five houses
    Labour's Phil Twyford says: The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were...
    Polity
  • Round up the usual suspects
    This post is just to keep track of all the people Cameron Slater has accused of being involved in the conspiracy to hack his computer and kill him. As Giovanni Tiso has pointed out, when Slater posts about Rawshark he...
    DimPost
  • The Soya Moratorium lives on – but what will follow after it?
    For eight years, the Soya Moratorium has protected the Amazon rainforest from deforestation. It has just been renewed for the eighth time. But what happens when it ends for good, 18 months from now?The Soya Moratorium was the industry’s answer to our campaign...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • 2014 New Zealand River Award Winners
      Two Canterbury rivers – the Otukaikino and Cam – took out 1st and 3rd place in the 2014 New Zealand River Awards for the most improved rivers in the country. The Oroua River in the Manawatu was the 2nd...
    Gareth’s World
  • Neetflux: Leak absorbent
    ...
    On the Left
  • Housing Accord first year results
    The results for the first full year of the Housing Accord between the government and Auckland Council have just been released. It’s a politically charged topic – witness the government talking it up (“First year Auckland Housing Accord target exceeded“),...
    Transport Blog
  • Armchair psychoanalysis of the day
    A week ago I was having coffee with some fellow politics nerds, scoffing at the idea that newly elected Labour MP Andrew Little could defeat Key in 2017. ‘The best he could hope for’, I pontificated, ‘Is to get up into...
    DimPost
  • Doctors support call for independent health assessment
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Senior doctors and dentists are formally throwing their weight behind growing calls for a formal independent health assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A recommendation about the TPPA was put...
    Its our future
  • Mercury Rising: 2014 Likely to Surpass 2010 as Warmest Year on Record
    The monthly global analysis for October has been released at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and it reveals that global surface temperature for October 2014 is the warmest October in 135 years of record-keeping. This follows on from the 2nd...
    Skeptical Science
  • Legal Beagle: A rather incomplete submission on the Countering Terrorist Fi...
    I've been busy lately, and have been unable to prepare the submission on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill that I would have liked. I also have a half-written blog post fact-checking claims made before the bill was released by...
    Public Address
  • US Report shows zero Australian economic growth from TPP
    ...
    Its our future
  • Stuart’s 100 #59: Missing from the City Centre Series: Street Kiosks
    59: Missing from the City Centre Series: Street Kiosks What if there were flower sellers on Queen Street? Our city centre is really starting to burgeon with pedestrian activity and public life through the day and well into the evening,...
    Transport Blog
  • The Law Society on the spy bill
    At the moment the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee is hearing submissions on John Key's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. One of the first submitters was the Law Society. So what did they think of it? It is a...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key’s TXTs and the Public Records Act
    Today in Question Time, in response to further questions about the Prime Minister's communications with sewerblogger Cameron Slater, Steven Joyce (on behalf of the PM) informed the House that Key deletes all his text messages, "in case his phone is...
    No Right Turn
  • No freedom of speech in Pakistan
    Veena Malik is a Pakistani actor. In May this year she played a role in a historical wedding scene based on the marriage of one of Muhammed's daughters. For this, she has been sentenced to 26 years in jail for...
    No Right Turn
  • John Key’s Immoral Governance
    I was in Wellington last weekend, alternating between spending time with my two student children and attending our Green Party executive meeting. Being with intellectually engaged and compassionate people was a useful foil to the depressing events that hit me...
    Local Bodies
  • FFS
    This is all getting really silly now. Alice in Wonderland stuff. The Prime Minister is ranting that he "absolutely [did] not" lie to reporters on Tuesday. He told reporters he had not been in communications with Cameron Slater about the...
    Polity
  • Council washes hands of pensioner housing
    Hamilton City Council is washing its hands of its social responsibility to care for its elderly residents by selling off its homes for pensioners, Labour’s Hamilton-based MP Sue Moroney says. “The Council’s decision to sell its remaining 344 pensioner housing...
    Labour
  • Bold response required to Blueprint
    The Government must give urgent consideration to recommendations in The People’s Blueprint if it is serious about tackling New Zealand’s deplorable record of child abuse and domestic violence, Labour’s Justice and Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The ‘one family, one judge’...
    Labour
  • Private prisons poaching in state jails
    The Corrections Department-sanctioned poaching of public prison officers for the new private prison at Wiri has to stop, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It is unacceptable that prison staff are being trained by Corrections and then being poached by...
    Labour
  • Climate report- a must read for all New Zealanders
    A strong scientific analysis of rising sea levels in New Zealand by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment makes climate change the number one issue for our city planners, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s report...
    Labour
  • Exports drop puts more pressure on surplus
    A 5 per cent fall in exports shows National’s reputation for economic management is taking a hit and even puts its golden surplus target at risk, say Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson and Exports Growth spokesperson David Parker. “Bill English’s...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Fourth housing report confirms failure
    The Fourth Auckland Housing Accord monitoring report shows the Accord has failed to make a dent in the city's housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. "The report says consents for only 354 dwellings were approved in the special...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Ministers all over the place on Smith passport
     Ministers responsible for the Phillip Smith debacle are at  odds over the passport he used to escape, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “It  beggars belief that Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne says the passport issued to Smith, under his...
    Labour
  • Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman’s speech – Rod Donald Memorial Lect...
    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • The Deep State Surfaces
    IT IS EIGHTEEN YEARS since education lecturer, Denis Small, surprised two Security Intelligence Service (SIS) agents attempting to break into the home of the anti-free trade activist, Aziz Choudry. The SIS was to pay dearly (quite literally as it turned...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why bother joining a union?
    This past couple of weeks Unite has had a number of graphic examples on why it can make a huge difference in you work life whether you are a union member or not. 100 cleaners jobs at SkyCity were saved...
    The Daily Blog
  • Ferguson – it just ain’t cricket
    Why do white men fear young black men? Why in this country do we continue to struggle with this? Asked by an old black guy in Ferguson, the crafty questions were answered by an abrupt end to the story to...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: If we want to understand the world around us, we might be bett...
    Psychologist Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Prize winner and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, a depressing but impressive book that is the culmination of his life’s work. Kahnemann proposes that people think in two different modes – ‘fast’ and ‘slow’....
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep 2.
    TDB Video: The Daily Blog Breakfast Club, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week Activist and blogger Jessie Hume and political commentator Keith Locke. This Week: Topic...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Slater-Key Txt-Messages Trip-Up – Did Cameron Slater Plan this?
    . Cameron Slater (L) and John Key (R) . Timeline Sunday 23 November: John Key apologises to right-wing blogger Cameron Slater over the publication of an email that forced Justice Minister Judith Collins’ resignation. Monday 24 November: John Key and...
    The Daily Blog
  • When the teflon is stripped away…
    . . To re-cap something I wrote on 13 September, regarding a hard-hitting interview between “The Nation’s” Lisa Owen and John Key; For possibly the first time since Stephen Sackur interviewed Key on Hard Talk in May, 2011, this [...
    The Daily Blog
  • My Select Committee submission against the “terrorist fighters” bill
    This morning I gave this “oral submission” to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee opposing the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill.  It is a pity only Greens are against the Bill. It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Pixies in the Garden? Making money
    In 2009, John Key said “there aren’t little pixies at the bottom of the garden printing cash” (John Armstrong, Colin Espiner). He was wrong of course. Just about every country has its own pixie-in-chief, though not at the bottom of the...
    The Daily Blog
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE – Government must allow further scrut...
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • Tension inside the Blue Tent – questions that should be asked
    With Andrew Little on fire taking a straight shooting no crap approach to Key’s dead eyed duplicity, the tensions inside the Blue Tent of National are at risk of erupting again. When the TeamKey brand falters, National’s factions sharpen their knives....
    The Daily Blog
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lisa Owen interviews Finance Minister Bill English
    He’s still “confident” the Government will make its forecast surplus in the 2014/15 year although dairy prices have dropped “further and faster than expected”...
    Scoop politics
  • Q + A 30/11/14: Spying, Family Violence, Texts
    We'll debate why the State needs new powers to spy on Kiwis and the controversial laws that are being rushed through Parliament....
    Scoop politics
  • Arrival of Phillip Smith in New Zealand
    On arrival with his police escort at Auckland Airport tomorrow morning Phillip Smith will be met by other police staff and complete customs and immigration formalities....
    Scoop politics
  • UNICEF Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles
    UNICEF NZ Calls on NZ Youth to Apply for Youth Ambassador Roles UNICEF NZ has once again launched its nationwide search for six new Youth Ambassadors and is calling on enthusiastic young people to apply before Friday, 12 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwifruit Claim Filed in High Court in Wellington
    The Kiwifruit Claim’s statement of claim has been filed in the High Court in Wellington this afternoon....
    Scoop politics
  • Judgment: John Banks Dotcom Donation Appeal
    A The application to adduce the evidence of Messrs Schaeffer and Karnes is granted. B The application to adduce evidence of Mr Dotcom’s driving conviction is declined. C The appeal is allowed. D The conviction is set aside and a...
    Scoop politics
  • Doctors support call for independent health assessment
    Senior doctors and dentists are formally throwing their weight behind growing calls for a formal independent health assessment of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A recommendation about the TPPA was put to 134 public hospital specialists...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau: Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 November 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday Saturday 29 November 2014 | The new Minister for Maori Development is taking a fresh look at the Te Reo...
    Scoop politics
  • Anti-speeding campaign based on phony science
    Ticketing ordinary motorists will have no effect on the groups who cause most road deaths, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics
  • Human Rights lawyers’ concerns over Terrorist Fighters Bill
    The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill will dramatically erode human rights and civil liberties if passed in its current form, said the Human Rights Lawyer’s Association Aotearoa New Zealand (HRLA)....
    Scoop politics
  • Privacy Commissioner’s naming policy
    Following a period of public consultation, the Privacy Commissioner is implementing a new policy on naming agencies that are in breach of the Privacy Act. The change takes effect on 1 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Need for whole-of-government approach to family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says The People’s Blueprint report by the Glenn Inquiry makes a strong case for a whole-of-government approach to combatting family violence, and highlights some of the ways we could do things better....
    Scoop politics
  • Stop Fracking in Our Big Blue Backyard – Frack Free Kapiti
    Evidence given at the EPA hearing of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at sea blows the industry accepted line that fracking is not happening offshore in New Zealand right out of the water....
    Scoop politics
  • Solidarity with West Papua on 1 December
    Below are the details of the solidarity events in Aotearoa New Zealand to mark West Papua Independence Day, 1 December - there are four events this year: one in Christchurch, one in Wellington and two in Auckland. If you are...
    Scoop politics
  • No charges laid over piggeries investigations
    No charges laid over piggeries investigations 28 November 2014 The Ministry for Primary Industries did not have sufficient evidence to lay charges following two animal welfare investigations into incidents at piggeries earlier this year. The investigations...
    Scoop politics
  • Deep Sea Drilling in Rising Seas
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's report on the effects of rising sea levels and climate change adds another argument against this Government's expansion of fossil fuel exploration....
    Scoop politics
  • Slower population growth in the long term
    New Zealand's population will likely grow by 1.4–1.8 percent a year during 2014–16, but growth will be lower in the long term, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics
  • Big Buddy on the Glenn Inquiry People’s Blueprint
    November 28, 2014 The inclusion of robust screening as a tool to prevent child abuse, highlighted in the Glenn Inquiry’s People’s Blueprint, is welcomed by Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston. “It’s heartening to see this high-calibre report come out...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint for tackling Family Violence
    The recently Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence (DCAFV) is pleased to support the fundamental changes in the way our legal system deals with family violence that the report calls for. We need to do more to support victims, and ensure...
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint – Both Good News and a Wake-Up Call
    The Patron of the Glenn Inquiry, Dame Catherine Tizard, says there is some good news in The People’s Blueprint, after the shocking picture painted six months ago in The People’s Report....
    Scoop politics
  • Glenn Inquiry Funder Keeps His Promise
    The founder and funder of the Glenn Inquiry, Sir Owen Glenn, said today he has kept the promise he made when he set up the independent inquiry in 2012. “I set up the Glenn Inquiry because it was clear to...
    Scoop politics
  • Support for Blue Print call for a stand-alone agency
    Human Rights Commissioner lead on family violence, Dr Jackie Blue welcomes the Glenn Inquiry, ‘The People’s Blue Print’, which places at its heart that being safe and free from violence is a fundamental human right....
    Scoop politics
  • People’s Blueprint Offers Solutions to Family Violence
    New Zealand has a fresh opportunity to reduce child abuse and family violence and save and restore lives under a powerful new model for combating the problem proposed by the Glenn Inquiry....
    Scoop politics
  • Submission: Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    My three key areas of concern relate to: • The duration of visual surveillance warrants; • The controls around warrantless surveillance powers; • Clarifying the continuation of controls around access to Passenger Name Record (PNR) data under...
    Scoop politics
  • The case is clear for climate action that supports health
    The need for rapid action on climate change in New Zealand in order to protect health is clear, according to a group of climate and health experts. Countries elsewhere in the world are already taking significant action, while New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • EDUCANZ Debate Ignores Teachers
    The legislation for the creation of the new EDUCANZ to replace the former Teachers’ Council body is now undergoing its second reading. Without warning, it was promoted to the top the queue this week....
    Scoop politics
  • Phillip Smith en-route back to New Zealand.
    Police confirm that Phillip Smith has been deported from Brazil and is en-route back to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Scaremongering and Showing Contempt for Democracy
    The government has been accused of fabricating an increased risk to New Zealand security to justify new invasive powers in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill. And its decision to allow just 48 hours for public submissions on the Bill...
    Scoop politics
  • Legislation “a travesty of democratic process”
    Peace Movement Aotearoa today called on the government to put the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill on hold - pending a comprehensive review of existing legislation - in a written submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee,...
    Scoop politics
  • Bill needs amending to better protect human rights
    The Human Rights Commission submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee this afternoon on the Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill makes specific recommendations relating to passport denial; increasing safeguards around visual...
    Scoop politics
  • NZ’s gender equality issues in international forum
    New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering human trafficking is an ongoing challenge for NZ
    At first glance, it is difficult to believe that human trafficking is an offence that is taking place in New Zealand. It is a harsh reminder that the rule of law sometimes does not reach far enough....
    Scoop politics
  • Government must allow further scrutiny of bill
    As the New Zealand government seeks to rush new through new anti-terror legislation, Amnesty International is raising grave concerns over the speed at which the Bill is being rushed through Parliament and is calling for an extension to the consultation...
    Scoop politics
  • Calling on anti-violence activists to step up
    Māori Party co-leaders believe every individual, whānau, hapū and iwi can help stop the high level of family violence that exists in our country....
    Scoop politics
  • More effective social services inquiry update Nov 2014
    The Productivity Commission’s More effective social services inquiry aims to shed light on how commissioning and contracting influence the quality and effectiveness of social services, and to suggest actions government agencies and others could take...
    Scoop politics
  • Keith Locke presentation on Countering Foreign Fighters Bill
    It’s a pleasure to be able to talk to members of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee again, and remember my 12 years on your committee. However, I don’t wish my submission today to be taken as endorsement of...
    Scoop politics
  • Significant issues for NZ in sea level rise report
    Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has recognised findings of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright’s report released today on the impact of rising seas as significant for coastal areas of New Zealand, aligning well with work the...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Campaign Shocked at Fatal Stabbing
    The White Ribbon Campaign extends its condolences to the family of a women fatally stabbed in Auckland's North Shore....
    Scoop politics
  • One Plan signing is “historic moment” for the environment
    The signing of the Horizon Regional Council’s One Plan after a decade of debate, legal action and controversy is being hailed by Fish & Game as a landmark in the battle to protect the nation’s water quality. Horizons councillors approved...
    Scoop politics
  • Look at the Road, Not the Speedo
    Responding to the Fairfax article that police will be issuing tickets over the summer to anyone driving 1km/h or more over the speed limit, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Worker immunity critical to safety in Meat Industry
    The Meat Workers Union has today urged the Select Committee hearing submissions on the Health & Safety Reform bill to strengthen provisions that protect the rights of workers to be involved and speak out, saying that it’s becoming increasingly...
    Scoop politics
  • PCE report brings home impacts of climate change
    Youth climate organisation Generation Zero has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's ' Changing Climate and Rising Seas ' report and says it demonstrates climate change will affect all of us....
    Scoop politics
  • Law Society urges reduction of terrorist fighter bill powers
    The New Zealand Law Society says powers proposed in the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill should be reduced to ensure they are strictly limited to countering the threats that have arisen....
    Scoop politics
  • Sea level rise won’t only affect infrastructure
    The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is asking the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) to widen the focus of her next report on climate change-driven sea level rise....
    Scoop politics
  • Changing climate and rising seas: Understanding the science
    During my seven years as Commissioner, I have consistently said that climate change is the biggest environmental issue we face. This investigation has provided an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of what is causing climate change and one of...
    Scoop politics
  • Council refuses to take part in farcical submissions process
    The New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties refuses to take part in the submissions process around the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Laws of War to Be Debated at Wellington Event
    The political and human consequences of war and civil unrest are widely covered in themedia but International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the body of law which exists to protect all parties to armed conflict, rarely gets attention....
    Scoop politics
  • Forum Compact Development Partner Peer Review of New Zealand
    Following the completion of the first leg of the review of New Zealand’s development cooperation in the Pacific, the Forum Compact Review Team is now visiting Kiribati to assess the effectiveness of New Zealand’s assistance in the small island developing...
    Scoop politics
  • YWCA Auckland award for long-time women’s role model
    New Zealand’s first female Governor General and Mayor of Auckland has been granted a Lifetime Achievement Award by YWCA Auckland, for her services to the Auckland community and acting as a role model for Kiwi women nationwide....
    Scoop politics
  • Government Urged Not To Miss Cosmetics Win For Animals
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE is urging the Government not to let animals down and vote for an amendment to the Animal Welfare Bill. The amendment would ban cosmetics testing on animals forever. The Bill had it’s second reading in Parliament...
    Scoop politics
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